Amazing Race
I'm In Russia, Playing With Dolls

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Drivers, divers, and dolls

Eric and Jeremy leave with Danielle and Dani. Back at the pool, now Monica is in the standard-issue one-piece, and she jumps into the water and gets the clue. I have no idea what's up with her wearing the one suit first and then changing into the one the Roadblock apparently required. They leave. Lori goes next, no problem. Wanda and Desiree are next. Wanda doesn't seem to have too much trouble with the jump into the water, as we see Joseph and Monica and Dave and Lori leaving, meaning that Wanda and Desiree are in last place and need to keep moving. As Wanda moves into the part where you go underwater for the clue, however, she balks at diving down into the water. Worst of all, as she balks, she starts to panic that they're going to lose, so she freezes up even more. Desiree has to start patting her arm and telling her not to cry, which is not how you want a Roadblock to go. When Wanda takes a shot and doesn't get down into the water, which seems to at least be partly a result of faulty technique, she just gets more upset that she can't get herself to dive down. This is quickly blossoming into an all-out panic attack.

Commercials. How can there be a Lobsterfest at Red Lobster? They don't have a Chickenfest at KFC. It's like...every day is Chickenfest.

We return to the Roadblock, where Wanda is still freaking out. Desiree is assuring her she can do it, but she doesn't seem so sure. Now, Wanda feels like she doesn't know how to get herself down far enough, and Desiree begins to feel frustrated, saying she isn't sure what else she can do.

BJ and Tyler find the cathedral. Inside, they keep their voices down, but Tyler wackily cracks, "Time to pay the bills!" as they open the box. Then, once they have the clue, he announces, "This place is gorgeous, huh? Let's check this place out first!" And then they stand there for a minute, all reverent and respectful, and then they leave. There's been a lot of debate over whether this was just a different brand of mugging, and I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt that they genuinely tried to be respectful. I also think, however, that announcing you're going to Stop And Enjoy The Cathedral is also mugging -- in other words, if your only motivation is to appreciate it, you just appreciate it. You don't need to narrate. I think they legitimately wanted to check out the cathedral, but I also think they wanted -- or at least Tyler, who is clearly the worse mugger -- wanted to make sure you didn't miss the fact that they were checking out the cathedral. "Get us; we appreciate culture." Got it. You have great big beating hearts. I'd like to see them sometime, if you'd stop waggling your fingers in your ears.

At any rate, the clue they have found at the cathedral is a Detour. Phil explains that the choices are Scrub and Scour. In Scrub, you find a trolley depot where you wash a trolley car "inside and out." When it's clean, you get your clue. The other option is Scour, a needle-in-a-haystack Detour taking place at a theater where there are 1500 sets of nesting dolls they will search for one of ten "microscopic clues." Phil says right out that this will be largely luck-based, although not difficult. The clues are not, in fact, microscopic. They are merely small. It looks to me like it would take you at maybe twenty seconds to undo and then redo a set of dolls, so if you have to do that 150 times (average, which you of course might substantially miss in either direction for a variety of reasons), that would be 50 minutes or so, and I have to think you can wash a bus in less than 50 minutes. All other things equal, I do think the bus is the way to go. BJ and Tyler agree with me. Make a note.

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Amazing Race

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